Yesterday was an incredible day! We had an amazing time at Trinity International Church. I was overwhelmed by one thing: Hope. As we sang the song “Build Your Kingdom Here” all together, I was moved to tears as I felt the overwhelming sense of Holy Hope in that Chapel. I felt a hopeful spirit as I’ve rarely (if ever) felt it in that place during their church service. I felt a strong sense that the churches here that have closed, stopped living and proclaiming the Gospel did so due to a lack of hope. I fear many of our American churches are stumbling down the same slippery slope. The fear that grips many in our American culture is that our society is hopeless. Many feel as if we’ve lost the battle of the culture wars, and so many have lost hope. Many also simply say: “I can’t wait to leave this place and get to Heaven because it is so bad here!” The constant desire for Heaven in an escapist mode of thinking has trapped us into forgetting that Heaven can and should be now, lived out by those filled with His Spirit. The Spirit of God is hopeful, not fearful. I’m praying for a larger portion of Hope, hope like I experienced at Trinity Church!!
After church, we went toto play frisbee and eat snacks at a large park near the Eiffel Tower with the young adults from Trinity International Church. We had a blast playing outside and interacting with the young folks from the church. I think we began some really good friendships with these young adults and I’m excited to see how we can do more together this week. I think it has been great hearing how God has been impacting our students each night as well. That’s why I am now going to allow one of our students- Josh Hanley share his experiences of the trip thus far.
“This trip has been pretty incredible so far. The city is, obviously, marvelous. It’s a beautiful place, and our experiences with Genesis and Trinity International Church have been just as enjoyable. Connecting with the people here has been a pleasure. They have all been very friendly and genuinely interested to hear about America, our lives, our education, etc. We have been equally curious to hear their stories. Although, perhaps one of the most poignant moments for me so far on this trip was an impromptu trip to the Louvre yesterday morning where three of us had a time of prayer and reflection. While it certainly wasn’t a typical quiet prayer space, it did provide insight as to what we should be praying for, including the safety of the city and the malleability of the people’s hearts. So far the trip has been magnificent, and I look forward to even greater experiences in the coming days”. – Josh Hanley
As we move forward, I will continue to encourage other members of our team to share, through their eyes what God is doing. Today we have a “Sabbath” in which we will see more sites together as a team, pray for France and gear up for the week of ministry ahead as we interact with the many people that currently call Paris home. Tomorrow we begin our ESL time and begin to have coffee with the great people we meet. Thank you for your prayers!